Enjoy sci-fi? Co-operative play? How about 3rd person ninjas? If you answered yes to any of these, then Warframe might just be your cup of tea. Warframe has all of these features, in a package that feels somewhat like Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer with a bigger emphasis on objectives and somehow even less story. Unfortunately, Warframe suffers from some pay-to-win methodology and incredibly slow item farming.
At first, Warframe seems like one of the most badass experiences out there. The tutorial has you jumping around in a sci-fi space suit, slashing and shooting baddies like a futuristic ninja. There are varying enemies, player classes and the gameplay is fluid. There are different classes that very well fit the standard MMO archetypes, Tanks, Healers, etc. And to succeed you often have to play with the same mindsets, Tanks in front healers in back. Team play can be fun and rewarding. For about an hour or so you’ll be on this kickass gameplay-high until you realize that there isn’t much else. PvP is limited and the PvE content is linear and repetitive. The game’s main focus is cooperative PvE content.
The graphics and story are both there, and they both work. The story is in no way motivating, and it serves solely as a reason for your actions. This wouldn’t be a problem if the story brought you to unique places, but so often in Warframe are you running through the same facilities fighting the same enemies. There may be a few variations of locale and scenery, but far from enough.
The real downside here is the progression system. To be anything in Warframe you must do one of two things, you must either play for over 100 hours and grind like hell, or you’ve got to pay 100+ dollars. You may think that I am kidding, but after over an hour of constant progression I was still level 1 and did not have enough money for the most basic of Warframes. Still, the game has a LOT of content to explore and tons of weapons and warframes to buy.
On a side note, Warframe’s developer was acquired by Perfect World Entertainment (Arc Games). Time will tell what kind of effect the acquisition will have on the game. A lot of people have been wary though, since they acquired Cryptic Studios, the makers of Star Trek Online and Champions Online, and blame Perfect World for the game’s decline.
Warframe is in no way a bad game. The idea behind the game, and the gameplay itself, are pretty dang cool. After an hour or so you’ve seen what the game’s all about and from then on out you can decide to keep playing or quit. The linear gameplay that great, but anyone looking for a good co-op free to play MMO should give Warfame a try. I personally prefer more epic shooters like Planetside 2 or Heroes and Generals on Steam. Both of these games just feel more “epic” in scale and realism, but still, I have to commend Warframe for being one of the only co-op heavy MMO shooters out there.